UPDATED (see asterisk below)
William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews.net
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC--We have been in South Carolina for several weeks and will be home this weekend. Each February-March we, like so many other snowbirds from the north, head south to get away from the cold temperatures. We stay in a rented home on Hilton Head Island. Like most people we have been captivated by how devastating this Wuhan virus (also known as the Coronavirus) has become. Sadly more and more people are dying from it.
Just recently we heard that a Gloucester City woman in her 30's has the virus. She is one of 19 in Camden County, NJ who are being treated. (read more)
Hilton Head is normally a mecca for college kids on spring break. We saw an influx of those individuals a few weeks ago sun bathing on the beach and party in local bars in town. But this week because of the virus the Governor of South Carolina closed the beaches and that was the end of the spring break celebrants. With the beaches closed and restaurants being limited to takeouts only, Hilton Head looks like a "Ghost Town" compared to previous years when we stayed here.
Toilet paper and paper towels started to disappear from grocery shelves in the Hilton Head area shortly after we heard about the same phenomena happening in the northern states. This week we tried to buy six cans of Campbell soup and the cashier said we could only have two cans. A woman ahead of us in line wanted to buy 3 six-packs of Pierre water and she was told she could only buy one. We were able to get the last can of spam the store was selling. Spam and peanut butter hmmm good.
We asked some of our friends living in different parts of the world to share with you what they are experiencing as result of this contagious disease.
Albuquerque, NEW MEXICO—Slim says there was a huge run on groceries and toilet paper a week ago. Nobody's even driving around much. I haven't left the yard or house for more than a week. Our local tv and radio programming featuring guests is closed. We're about the same as everyone else here. Our son and daughter-in-law are Indian Health Service doctors in Zuni. They have two little girls, and they are nervous because they deal with sick people all day. But nothing in those counties yet.
No high school or collegiate sports at all. Many people have been home schooling since this began ... plus all the public schools in New Mexico are closed for three weeks. I think we're about a week into that now.
But people are more together and more optimistic than I've ever seen them, and I've lived here 36 years now. It's that "We're all in this together" attitude and folks are just plain being nicer to each other ... from six feet away.
Friends are calling each other on the phone and asking how they're doing. I got calls from two old hunting buddies I hadn't seen in years. Weddings have been postponed, and at least one funeral has, too. My producer (of the radio show) and partner, Larry Ahrens, lost his wife after seven months in a rest home. There won't be a memorial service for her until this virus mess is over.
~ Slim Randles, New Mexico
Editor's Note— Slim, who lives in the state of New Mexico writes the weekly column Home Country for CNBNews. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced March 23 the closure of “non-essential businesses,” Businesses such as grocery stores, health care operations, media outlets, and farms are allowed to remain open. New Mexico reports one death from the virus, 100 positive cases (AlbuquerqueJournal.com)
ITALY—Annette here! Hope you and Connie are both doing well and taking care of yourselves - and of course taking this health crisis very seriously!!
Isolation! It sucks! Especially with a two-year-old and a four-year-old. We live in apartment building with no outdoor space so we are literally inside all day long! We are 15 days in now and at this point don’t know when we’ll be allowed back out.
Food shortage: I have to say, that’s not an issue here, my husband goes to the store once per week to buy groceries. They only let four people in the store at a time. We have all that we need! Thank God!
Of course time away from family is hard, but we do FaceTime and WhatsApp video daily. It keeps us sane and helps pass the time. It’s almost brought us closer even with the people afar.
Personally, this experience has helped myself to grow, I’ve been reminded of how “good” we have it! We are warm, fed, loved etc. have internet, tv etc. we are very privileged and fortunate. I’m concerned for others that don’t have what we have, children specifically: parents to show love, or tablets to keep them entertained or minimal food etc I’ve been thinking about that in these days and feeling very blessed!
Editor's Note— Annette Funicello (not her real name) a former resident of Gloucester City/Brooklawn is living in Italy with her husband and her children. She is a Gloucester High School Alumnus.
Italy, according to the Washington Post, has become the flash point of the coronavirus pandemic, with a death toll at 6,077 and counting — the highest in the world. More than 2,000 Italians have been killed by the virus in the past four days alone. (source Washington Post
PENNSYLVANIA—The Governor announced PA is now a shelter in place state, writes Georgeanna. Grocery stores are rationing. It is hard to get things like pasta, rice, frozen vegetables, canned fruits, canned soup, canned vegetables.
photo credit Jason Malmont, The Sentinel
We are doing well. We’ve kept our family quarantined since last Friday. Hearing about hospitals not having enough rooms in Italy made us really nervous since two of our children have genetic disorder, their immune systems are compromised and if they get this, it is very likely they will need to be hospitalized. My husband and I are afraid it could be life-threatening.
We are only doing online grocery pickups and the stores have been out of more things we want than usual, but so far, no rationing. The store parking lots are packed, though. There are pictures circulating of empty shelves in the grocery stores so people are stocking up. People are definitely out and about. A lot of people we know seem to think we are crazy. It’s “business as usual”. Schools are closed. Pennsylvania’s coronavirus cases are bound to skyrocket! Recently the Governor declared that Pennsylvanians are to shelter in place.
Trend I’m following predicts about 100,000 cases in US by March 28 and I don’t see anything around where I live that makes me think that’s not going to happen. It’s scary!
Grocery stores tried to have a 6am – 8am shopping for seniors to help them stay safe and shop with less crowds. That seems to have backfired. I saw pictures and the grocery store lines looked like the weekend before Thanksgiving – lines were long and people were on top of one another.
~Georgeanna Singley, Lancaster, Pa
Editors Note: Georgeanna is a former Gloucester City resident and a Gloucester Catholic HS alumnus. Pennsylvania now has 644 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Department of Health. So far, 6,595 people have tested negative for the virus. PA Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says about 60 people have required hospitalization since March 6, which is about 10 percent of cases.
NEW JERSEY—Many people are helping others in Gloucester City, according to Dawn. Some restaurant and store owners are making free deliveries. For example, RiverPark Pub owner Michael Soll his cook and helpers are cooking and delivering meals to senior citizens AT NO COST to our community! Citizens are continually checking on senior citizens, myself included. When neighbors venture out they let others know, offering to shop for them. It's wonderful to see.
~Dawn Watson, Gloucester City, NJ
Editor's Note: Dawn writes two weekly columns for CNBNews, Just Saying and Pet Tips. In New Jersey, as of March 24 there are 44 dead from this disease, nearly 3,700 infected by it.
GEORGIA-Lisa says currently in Georgia we were able to sit down with a group of 9 at a restaurant yesterday and enjoy a meal as a family. Everyday is a new day and a new restriction. So as of this morning the restaurants closed their doors and they are only allowing take out. Checking into a hotel they sanitize the hotel key in a bowl of sanitizer before handing you the key. They have shut down all buffets and gatherings and we are now cooking in our rooms to spend time with each other. We attempted to go to the bank today to perform a wire transfer to purchase a house and the doors were closed with a sign to contact the corporate office. Each day a new business closes their doors, the hope is that they are able to open them one day.
~Lisa Geiger, former Gloucester City resident and Gloucester High alumnus
Editor's Note: The Georgia Department of Public Health announced Tuesday night (March 24,) that there have been six more deaths from COVID-19 across the state in addition to 71 more confirmed cases. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 1,097 since the coronavirus pandemic entered Georgia. (source https://www.ajc.com/news
Florida-Lisa works at Smart Fitness in Coral Springs. The city that was most impacted was in Miami, according to Lisa. Weeks ago they were the first to shut down all restaurants and non essential stores. It slowly trickled up to Broward County (Fort Lauderdale). The more you drive north the more relaxed it is. South Florida has taken the biggest hit. There is a city in Hollywood where they have signs that all their take out proceeds are to benefit the service staff. A good friend of mine has been laid off by Marriott and they just purchased their first home and have a one year old son. Their paychecks and benefits stop at the end of the month. My personal experience with Physical Therapy is that only post surgical patients who have a high medical need are getting tended to. We still have our doors open as we are considered essential medical personnel. We sanitize everything and wear gloves for each patient. Overall everyone I encounter is effected in some way. It’s this time where we need to step up and dig deep to help a neighbor or a stranger, so we can all come out of this stronger.
~Lisa Geiger, Gloucester HS alumnus and former Gloucester City resident.
Editor's Note: March 23, the Florida Department of Health posted a new update saying at least 17 people have died in the state from the coronavirus and there were 1,227 confirmed cases of it in Florid https://www.clickorlando.com/
*WHERE DID THE CORONAVIRUS BEGIN?—Here’s some information about the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The coronavirus, called Covid-19 by the WHO, originated in China and is the cousin of the SARS virus.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. The viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.
December 31, 2019 – Cases of pneumonia detected in Wuhan, China, are first reported to the WHO.
January 1, 2020 – Chinese health authorities close the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan after it is discovered that wild animals sold there may be the source of the virus.
January 11, 2020 – The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announces the first death caused by the coronavirus. A 61-year-old man, exposed to the virus at the seafood market, died on January 9 after respiratory failure caused by severe pneumonia.
January 13, 2020 – Thai authorities report a case of infection caused by the coronavirus. The infected individual is a Chinese national who had arrived from Wuhan.
January 16, 2020 – Japanese authorities confirm that a Japanese man who traveled to Wuhan is infected with the virus.
January 17, 2020 – Chinese health officials confirm that a second person has died in China. The United States responds to the outbreak by implementing screenings for symptoms at airports in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
January 21, 2020 – Officials in Washington state confirm the first case on US soil.
January 22, 2020 – Wuhan says it will “temporarily” close its airport and railway stations for departing passengers following news that the death toll from the Wuhan Coronavirus has risen to 17. Chinese authorities confirm at least 547 cases in the mainland.
January 23, 2020 – At an emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization, the WHO says that the Wuhan coronavirus does not yet constitute a public health emergency of international concern.
January 29, 2020 – The White House announces the formation of a new task force that will help monitor and contain the spread of the virus, and ensure Americans have accurate and up-to-date health and travel information, it says.
published Gloucestercitynews.net | March 25 2020